Sherman County eNews #290


  1. Gorge Works Hosts Career Tours for Manufacturing Day, Oct. 5 & 6

  2. 15th Annual Shaniko Ragtime & Vintage Music Festival, Oct. 6-8

  3. City Residents Take the Broadband Survey!

  4. MCEDD Seeks Responses for Code Enforcement Services

  5. Use It or Lose It

  6. PacificSource Health Plans Community Health Program Funding Recipients

  7. Letter to the Editor: Athletes Showing Solidarity

  8. Commentary: NFL Pigskins at the Public Trough

  9. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

1. Gorge Works Hosts Career Tours for Manufacturing Day, Oct. 5 & 6

Gorge Works is celebrating National Manufacturing Day, with business tours and other events Thursday, Oct. 5, and Friday, Oct. 6, designed to let people know about the job and training opportunities available in the Columbia Gorge.

Gorge Works, a regional workforce initiative, will be offering internships and other paid work experiences at area businesses starting in summer 2018. Any high school graduate (or equivalent) over 18 is eligible to apply.

“We’ve heard from many businesses in the Gorge that they need new strategies to recruit skilled workers to their businesses,” said Kathy Ursprung of the Port of The Dalles.

Manufacturing Day tours will spotlight some of the opportunities for well-paying jobs in the trades and manufacturing. Call the Port of The Dalles before Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 541-298-4148 to sign up for tours. Students and adults are all welcome.


Thursday, Oct. 5:

10 a.m. – Innovative Composites Engineering, White Salmon (Anyone touring must prove US Person status by providing a passport, birth certificate or green card.)

Friday, Oct. 6 (Manufacturing Day):

10 a.m. – Columbia Gorge Community College EM-Tech (electro-mechanical technology), The Dalles

11 a.m. – Griffith Motors service or sales operations

1 p.m. – Oregon Cherry Growers Port operation

2:30 – Mid-Columbia Producers grain elevators

Both Thursday and Friday, Worksource Oregon will be offering drop-in services  including resume review and help with job interviewing skills. If you also sign up with Worksource, you can also find out if you are eligible for additional employment support services. Drop-in services will be offered Thursday at the Hood River affiliate office at Columbia Gorge Community College and Friday at The Dalles office, both from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Port is working with Columbia Gorge Community College and other local organizations to organize the first year of the region-wide Gorge Works Program.

“The interest is there,” said Dan Spatz, manager of marketing and outreach for the college. “We have very good businesses interested in this program. We’re starting on a small scale and will grow from there.”

Organizers are working with a steering committee of some of the Gorge’s largest businesses, including Insitu, Mid-Columbia Medical Center, Innovative Composites Engineering, Cloud Cap/UTC Technology, Oregon Cherry Growers, SDS Lumber, Mid-Columbia Producers, Custom Interface Inc., and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue.

“They are recruiting for jobs in a category we’re calling entry-level technician. In many cases, the skills required for these jobs can be obtained with training in high school or community college, trade school, an apprenticeship, or even on the job,” Ursprung said.

Not only can these skills be obtained locally, they can lead to family-wage jobs here in the Columbia Gorge, in a wide range of business sectors.

“We are hoping Manufacturing Day tours will build awareness of these great local opportunities — and the opportunities to try some of these jobs on for size through a  Gorge Works work experience,” Ursprung said.

Gorge Works is open to high school graduates or equivalent and anyone interested in better job opportunities. Find more information online at or call Kathy Ursprung or Bayoan Ware at the Port of The Dalles, 541-298-4148.

2. 15th Annual Shaniko Ragtime & Vintage Music Festival, Oct. 6-8


Shaniko Ragtime & Vintage Music Festival

15th Annual

October 6-8, 2017

In Shaniko, Oregon and Madras, Oregon

Musicians from Oregon, California, Washington and New Hampshire!

Friday, October 6th at the Shaniko Schoolhouse

1 pm Keith Taylor

2 pm Meg Graf & Vicki Cox

3 pm Lance MacLean

4 pm Clare Kennedy

5 pm Jack & Chris Bradshaw

Donations Appreciated

Saturday, October 7th

Erickson Aircraft Museum at the Madras Airport

1 pm  Meg Graf & Vicki Cox & Lance MacLean

2:30 Clare Kennedy

3 pm  Keith Taylor

4 pm Bradshaw’s

Donations to Museum

Jam sessions are Friday in the Shaniko Sage Saloon, inside the Stagecoach Station  7-10 pm and Saturday at the Madras Airport Erickson Museum, 7-11 pm

Sunday, October 8th at 2 pm the Shaniko Schoolhouse Concert

Performances by all artists.     Suggested Donation: $10 per person

All musicians who sing or play acoustic instruments welcome.

Camping is free on the streets of Shaniko

Further Festival information call (541) 489-3434

Sunday at 5 pm, October 8th, Special Meeting of the Cascade Ragtime Society

Event sponsored by The Shaniko Preservation Guild

3. City Residents Take the Broadband Survey!

ShermanCoLogoResidents and businesses in Biggs Junction, Grass Valley, Moro, Rufus, and Wasco are encouraged to take a broadband satisfaction survey hosted by Mid-Columbia Economic Development District (MCEDD). This survey is intended to gauge interest in improved internet service and help better understand the needs in the community related to internet connectivity. Paper surveys are being mailed in city water bills and can be returned to your city hall, or you can take the survey online on County’s website ( by October 31.

The information collected in the surveys will assist the community in seeking proposals from private internet providers to develop “off-ramps” the fiber “highways” in the County so that those in Sherman County’s cities can access truly high speed internet service. For more information about broadband and this project, everyone is invited to attend two community information sessions with MCEDD. Each session will provide the same information. The meetings are Wednesday, October 11 at 6pm at Moro City Hall and Tuesday, October 17 at 6pm at Wasco City Hall. If you have questions about this effort, please contact city staff in your community or Jessica Metta with MCEDD at or 541-296- 2266.

4. MCEDD Seeks Responses for Code Enforcement Services

Mid-Columbia Economic Development District has posted a Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) to invite qualified persons and/or firms (“Consultant”) to provide code enforcement services on an as-needed basis for the Cities of Dufur, Maupin, and potentially some of the cities of Sherman County. The intent is to provide regular part-time consulting services in the area of code enforcement.

The Code Enforcement Services Consultant (CESC) is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Nuisance Control Ordinances within the cities noted. The CESC receives, investigates, mediates and resolves nuisance abatement and code enforcement issues, conducts inspections, provides notices and declares nuisance emergencies. All submittals must contain requisite information outlined in the RFQ and received no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 13, 2017. Read the full request at

5. Use It or Lose It

Most people are familiar with the phrase, “use it or lose it,” which is usually said about muscle power. But scientists who are studying how the brain works have made some discoveries indicating that this saying holds true for our mental capacities as well.

They have discovered something about mastering difficult tasks that is very interesting.  They have found that the better you get at doing something difficult, the less brainpower it takes. The brain is creating new pathways, and the more often the new task is accomplished, the more substantial the neural pathway becomes. Once this pathway is established, the messages travel faster and less energy is needed to move them along.

Now, in some ways this seems to contradict common sense. For instance, if you asked a runner to leap over obstacles in addition to increasing speed, he or she would obviously have to expend more energy.

However, the brain apparently works in the opposite way, using less fuel as it becomes more accomplished and as challenges are increased. Now, the relationship between practice and performance has always been obvious to musicians who know that it gets easier and easier to do more complex things, as you become a better player. (“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”  “Practice. Practice. Practice!”)

We know that the same principle holds true for all of us. That is why it is so important to hang in there in the early stages of learning a new skill, even if you feel awkward and frustrated.  If you do, the payoff will be there for you down the road and it will get a whole lot easier.

So, what new skill have you been putting off? How about giving it another try? Remember, there can be great fun in learning if you believe there can be. ~The Pacific Institute

6. PacificSource Health Plans Community Health Program Funding Recipients

(SPRINGFIELD, Ore.) Sept. 26, 2017– PacificSource Health Plans has announced the 15 healthcare organizations that will receive funding as part of its ongoing Community Health Excellence (CHE) program for the 2017-2018 session. Launched in 2009, CHE is a collaborative community health improvement program that makes financial contributions and other resources available to the healthcare initiatives of providers in Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The supported initiatives are independently evaluated as having a significant positive impact for their patients, regardless of their insurance status.

Through the CHE program, funding is made available to the selected providers for expenses related to training, improved patient care processes, staff salaries, data collection, and computer software integral to the selected quality improvement initiative.
“There are lots of good ideas in the provider community on how to better serve their populations and address gaps in care,” said Peter McGarry, PacificSource’s vice president of provider network. “Our goal is to help them fill those gaps by asking them to put their best ideas forward on how we can help uniquely serve the patients they treat.”

The 2017-2018 CHE program participants include: Children’s Health Foundation, Columbia Gorge Children’s Advocacy Center, Legacy Health, Roundup Memorial Healthcare, St. Luke’s Cares, Partnership Health Center, Clearwater Valley Hospital, Beartooth Billings Clinic, Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch, Mid-Columbia Center for Living, Shoshone Family Medical Center, Kalispell Regional Medical Center (ASSIST), Mosaic, Central Montana Medical Center, and Providence Hood River.

To be considered for the program, providers must complete an application including a detailed budget. Initial review and scoring of all applications are conducted by an independent panel of physicians with expertise and interest in community health. For more information, visit

About PacificSource Health Plans:
PacificSource is an independent, not-for-profit community health plan serving the Northwest. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides a wide array of fully insured, administrative service, and government health plan products. Founded in 1933, PacificSource is based in Springfield, Ore. with local offices throughout the state, as well as in Idaho and Montana. The PacificSource family of companies employs more than 900 people, serves more than 300,000 individuals, and has 3,900 employer clients throughout the Northwest. For more information visit

7. Letter to the Editor: Athletes Showing Solidarity

Good Morning, Sherry,

Watching the news this morning, I realized that there is one more thing our president does not understand. He does not understand team sports. From grade school on, we start learning through sports, the value of working together. It is a life lesson about how working together and supporting one another allows us to accomplish much more than we can as individuals. My observation is: Donald Trump has never been a team player. He lives with the illusion that whatever success he has had is all because of him.

The current huge protest that he precipitated among the pro athletes and many others is another example of how uninformed he is about what really matters to people. He is so clueless and egotistical, that he does not understand that the protest was about what he had said at one of his rallies. He actually stated that it would be nice if the owners would fire those “Son’s of B____” that took a knee for the national anthem. A lot of people took offense to that statement, myself included.

There is a statement that I’ve heard, that goes something Like this: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to my death your right to say it.” The Black Lives Matter movement undoubtedly means different things to different people, but to me, it’s about equal justice and equal opportunity. Many of the star athletes and others that recently joined the protest are standing up for those who are taking a peaceful and nonviolent approach to protesting what they perceive as injustice and inequality. They may not all believe in exactly what the protesters believe in, but they will stand for the protester’s right to speak about what they believe without the intimidation of a bully who is now our president.

The irony of this whole affair about the athletes showing solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement by not participating in the national anthem, is that before 2009 the teams didn’t even show up for the national anthem. The reason our pro teams became so patriotic is because the pentagon started funding leagues to do so……that’s right! This is what I call state funded propaganda. You might check this out. I haven’t had time to verify this, but I heard it on the news this morning and it makes perfect sense to me.

Fred Justesen

Grass Valley, Oregon 

8. Commentary: NFL Pigskins at the Public Trough

A Commentary By Michelle Malkin


  •  “The NFL is a “private enterprise” whose “rights” are being violated by those who dare to challenge the league’s political radicalization. The anti-Trump Democratic Coalition has even filed an ethics complaint alleging that the president’s comments constitute a criminal violation against using government offices “to influence the employment decisions and practices” of a private entity.
  • “As for the NFL’s status as a “private” enterprise? That’s some Super Bowl-sized audacity right there. I first started tracking publicly subsidized sports boondoggles with my very first watchdog website, Porkwatch, back in 1999. Since then, taxpayers at all levels of government have footed the bill for football stadiums to the tune of an estimated $1 billion every year.
  • “Over the past decade, new tax-supported NFL stadiums rose up for the Indianapolis Colts (the $720 million Lucas Oil Stadium), the Dallas Cowboys (the $1.15 billion AT&T Stadium) the New York Jets and Giants (the $1.6 billion MetLife Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings (the $1.1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium), the Atlanta Falcons (the $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium), and the San Francisco 49ers (the $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara).
  • “Next in the works: a whopping $2.6 billion stadium for the Los Angeles Chargers and Rams and a $1.9 billion stadium for the Oakland Raiders when they move to Las Vegas. Left behind? An $83 million taxpayer debt on two-decade-old renovations to the Alameda County Coliseum that the Raiders are abandoning.
  • “Both political parties have supported massive redistribution of taxes from working people to the gridiron’s spoiled 1-percenters. Public-private sports palace boosters employ the same bogus economic development math as the federal government’s infamous Solyndra green energy loans, stimulus rip-offs and jobs programs. Citizens are promised an enormous multiplier of jobs and benefits in return for their “investments.” But instead they’ve been saddled with a field of schemes….”
  • Sports economists have concluded repeatedly that the effects of stadium subsidies on employment and economic activity are negligible — or even negative.

Read the rest here:

9. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do

bird.crow.flyCommentary: NFL Pigskins at the Public Trough

NFL, Department of Defense & the National Anthem 

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” —Thomas Paine (1777)

Forest Cover Density Across The United States

Special Report: Drowning in grain – How Big Ag sowed seeds of a profit-slashing glut

Freedom From Speech on Campus